Think summer jobs are just for kids? Well ... think again! Now is just the right time and you are at just the right age to land an adventure-filled position that will prove both fun and rewarding.
The seasonal job market has opened up to applicants of all ages as many employers welcome job-seekers with a mature work ethic and well-honed communication skills. If you are someone with a yen for history, the arts, the great outdoors, and/or hospitality and guest services, you should consider seasonal work. The pay may not be great, but the work is likely to be rewarding in other ways. You can also add the position to your resume. And, better yet, you will likely meet a number of potentially helpful contacts.
In addition to seasonal work, part-time and/or temporary, contract positions are more plentiful during the summer as organizations scramble to cover for their vacationing employees. If you land a part-time position in your line of work -- at a company where you'd like to be employed -- your chances of being brought on full time are good. When an opening appears, you will already be known for your abilities, commitment and fit for the position. Even more, the company will be spared the outlay of cash and time involved in the hiring process, training a new employee and bringing them up to speed.
Here are a few links to get you thinking about seasonal, part-time and/or contract opportunities aimed at mature applicants:
- Jobs for the Older and Bolder
- Seasonal Jobs for Boomers, Seniors and Retirees
- Alaska and Yukon Jobs: Summer Jobs for Seniors
- Part-time Jobs for Seniors
In addition to the increased job options that the summer provides, your opportunities to mix and mingle are greatly enhanced by the warm weather. Late spring and early summer are a wonderful time to socialize. Backyard parties, gatherings, and community events abound and are prime venues to "meet and greet" and get the word out about all you have to offer. Most of these events will be friendly and casual so -- when asked what you do -- you won't want to deliver a rehearsed elevator speech. Rather, plan to use a lighter touch and create an engaging one-liner that piques your listener's interest.
When one successful candidate was questioned about her line of work, she turned her career as a department store buyer into a great one-liner. Her reply? "I shop with other people's money." This type of attention-grabbing statement will serve as an instant rapport builder and get them wanting more information about what you do. Then you can deliver a lengthier description of your skills and experience. Also, don't forget to use this golden opportunity to further your employment goals by ending your response with, "and I'm looking for..." Many times this conversation starter will provide you with great advice and solid leads.
There's one big, additional benefit to having a summer job and actively building your list of contacts. The larger your network, the better you will position yourself for the surge of full-time employment opportunities taking place in September and October. Generally, early fall is the second strongest hiring period of the year. Just like the school year begins anew, organizations start gearing up after the summer slowdown. New projects and initiatives are put in place and often these projects will require additional staff. Therefore, even though you may not be hired for full-time employment in July or August, by making your presence known now, you might very well find yourself first in line to be called in for an interview in early September.
So plan to check out options for summer employment and take full advantage of all the social activities the season has to offer. Get out there, make yourself known, and present yourself as the knowledgeable, enthusiastic candidate you are. You never know whom you might meet and where such opportunities might lead. And, come early fall, you just might find yourself happily employed in the full-time position you've wanted all along!
Mary Eileen Williams is a Nationally Board Certified Career Counselor with a Master's Degree in Career Development and twenty years' experience assisting midlife jobseekers to achieve satisfying careers. Her book, Land the Job You Love: 10 Surefire Strategies for Jobseekers Over 50, is a step-by-step guide that shows you how you can turn your age into an advantage and brand yourself for success. Updated in 2014, it's packed with even more critical information aimed at providing mature applicants with the tools they need to gain the edge over the competition and successfully navigate the modern job market. Visit her website at Feisty Side of Fifty.com and celebrate your sassy side!